Hybrid Cloud – An Established Business Service
Everyday without fail journals such as Computer Weekly publish an article or a research piece on Hybrid Cloud, Hybrid IT and Hybrid Data. The much talked about Hybrid Cloud is here and here to stay. Gartner, and others have libraries of research and reports on the subject "As the demand for agility and flexibility grows, organisations will shift toward more industrialised, less-tailored options," said DD Mishra, research director at Gartner.
Yet despite all the data available we still see countless articles on the risk of Public Cloud. Any CISO will tell you there are risks with on premise services too. However, the risk for public cloud which has been highlighted in early research as an inhibitor to a wider and quicker adoption is not the major issue for the delay. Have the risks gone away? No, but businesses have a better understanding of what can move to Public Cloud and the associated risks of breach have matured. Arguably in many cases the security of the major Cloud Providers are likely to be safer than many organisations own security provision.
The business drivers for Cloud are many, but the key factor to the continuing pace of Cloud adoption and now Multi-Cloud operating models are:
1. The rise of the AppsStore. The emergence of the Apps store have created a landscape that enables business to turn business ideas into working reality in very little time or cost. This flexibility and accessibility to DevOps has seen huge businesses emerge and quickly become global brands. Many brands are disrupting the status quo at an unprecedented rate. An recent example is WhatsApp;
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo. The naming convention was simple it sounded like 'What’s up?' Having left Yahoo in 2009 both travelled to South America to take a break from work.
In 2009, after purchasing an iPhone and realising the potential of the App industry on the App Store, Koum engaged an iPhone developer. On February 24, 2009, WhatsApp Inc. was incorporated. Selling to Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion.
New simpler streamlined applications and critical business services could be developed quickly and cost effectively. This was, and still is a critical component of Cloud and Digital transformation.
On the flip side, this disruptive control now in the hands of business and entrepreneurs is just as evident in the dramatic failures. Take Powa, the darling of UK Tech Founded in 2007 with its launch of a mobile payments system similar to iZettle or Square. Powa, once valued at £2.7billion spectacularly crashed into administration in 2016.
Cloud based Apps are driving the pace of change ever faster.
2.Cost effectiveness of Hybrid working has been proven. Not all business services will end up in the cloud, entrepreneurs such as Justin Day and Neil Briscoe of Cloud Gateway believe that most will, but there is likely to be a ‘legacy’ that remains on premises for many valid reasons. An opinion supported by @Gartner analysts who believe the trajectory is definitely towards ‘all cloud’ (although even here there is still debate) but are currently some way off ‘everything cloud’ if indeed we will every reach this utopia. However, the shift to Hybrid and Multi Cloud is undeniable.
The ability to quickly develop an application in house, test and deploy in the cloud, removes a significant cost from the business in terms of hardware, software and support charges. However, there are costs in cloud that need to be managed and can often be unaccounted for when constructing the business case. Not only the selection of the cloud provider is vital to the success and cost of a cloud deployment, the mechanism in which you manage your Multi Cloud environment that will determine how agile the business remains moving forward. Cloud Platforms are more important now with the Multi Cloud operating model than services being consumed via a single cloud provider. Here is where I advocate caution. Many Platforms bring their own complexity and proprietary lock-ins, remove some of the flexibility and agility offered by a true Cloud model. Many also require multi products from an eco system of vendors to provide the full visibility and control needed to run in a multi cloud matrix, cost to manage this integration and on going support must form part of the business case and ROI.
3. Speed with Security. The flexibility, speed and cost benefits of Cloud are well documented but there is still so much scaremongering as to the security ‘risks’ of cloud. Hacking is big business and there are staggering volumes of businesses publicly announced hacks and breaches of client data, often followed by hefty regulatory fines. The business case for moving to Cloud, Hybrid or Multi Cloud models needs to be carefully considered.
Failure to identify all costs of Cloud, the management and flow of data can have a significant impact on the financial benefits of Cloud.
The UK is definitely at the forefront of digital business and Hybrid or Multi Cloud is at the core of that digital footprint. A recent report published by Computer Weekly https://bit.ly/2TJlQZD shows how the UK leads the charge. Why? Many reasons including, resource/skills, speed, cost, flexibility and innovation support by UK Government.
UK Government have pledge to ensure that the UK is at the heart of Global Digital Industry. Digital Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the UK Governments intention to continue its support of the digital sector with over £1billion made available already. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reported in August 2018 that the digital sector exported more than £39bn in services in 2016, up from £32bn in 2015, as UK firms capitalised on the rapid digitisation of the world economy.
Key to the UK success is its innovative and entrepreneurial approach to Tech Start Ups, the faster growing sector of the UK economy.